Author: Ellen Lupton

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White paper poster advertising an art installation for social distancing using black squares in a 9 x 8 grid, each square in each row gets larger from left to right
Social Distance
The phrase “social distance” became common lingo early in the COVID-19 pandemic. To safely shop, work, or wait in line, people were advised to stay six feet (or two meters) apart. Graphic markers guided this new behavior. Solutions ranged from elaborate installations to hand-made solutions. Content from the exhibition Design and Healing: Creative Responses to...
An eye-catching poster of a cartoon-like worker holding a bin of tomatoes and the words [WORKERS FIRST] printed in bubble font repeating vertically in wavy lines filling the background.
Building Health Equity
Structural racism is a silent killer. Many conditions of daily life affect people’s health, including access to transportation, education, safe housing, nutritious food, clean air and water, and green space. Economic policies in the United States have routinely confined people of color in neighborhoods lacking these essential resources. Pandemics, from cholera in the early 1900s...
Poster which explains what Mutual Aid is and how the process works.
Mutual Aid
During the COVID-19 pandemic, mutual aid organizations around the world delivered food to neighbors in need, ran errands for housebound people, and created masks and other protective equipment. Many of these loosely organized groups relied on social media and tools like Google Docs to organize volunteers. Content from the exhibition Design and Healing: Creative Responses...
A night-time photograph of a public space with a high suspended light source which illuminates a large yellowish open circle on the paved surface below.
Light and Healing
In 1882, Robert Koch (German, 1843–1910) discovered the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. At the time, one in seven people in Europe and the United States died of tuberculosis. People living in poverty were especially vulnerable. Sunlight and fresh air were common treatments for tuberculosis until 1943, when antibiotics were proven to cure the disease. Sanatoriums,...
Paimio Sanatorium, 1929–33
To design the Paimio Sanatorium, Alvar and Aino Aalto leveraged the best science available at the time, which called for cross-ventilation and heliotherapy (exposure to sunshine) to treat and prevent tuberculosis. They considered everything from chairs and sinks to closets and beds. Sinks with angled basins were designed to minimize the sound of splashing water....
Aerial view of GHESKIO hospital, the building is shaped like a capital letter G that has slanted, ridged white roofs with a central paved courtyard split by triangular and oblong planters
GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital
Tuberculosis remains a pandemic disease today, afflicting people in every country on Earth. An outbreak of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis hit Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Patients require treatment for up to 24 months, and they remain infectious during the first few months of treatment. MASS Design Group designed the GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital in Port-au-Prince to provide...
Photograph of the Washington Monument enclosed by a white open air dome.
Nets, Screens, and Malaria
Mosquitoes have been linked with illness for thousands of years. Mosquito nets became popular around the world after 1897, when it was proven that a parasite spread by mosquitoes causes malaria. Colonial governments in West Africa were slow to adopt strategies for controlling mosquitoes, such as nets, window screens, and insecticide. Promoting the racist notion...
Two almost identical drawings, one on top of the other, illustrating a seated light-skinned person leisurely reading a newspaper in front of a smoking fireplace. The upper drawing depicts the person seated normally in front of the fire, the lower drawing depicts the seated person completely upside down.
Ventilation and Architecture
Although ventilation is known to prevent disease, many modern buildings are sealed environments with fixed windows or windows that are opened rarely. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the dangers of this approach. If not adequately filtered, recirculated air spreads viral particles indoors. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a public reckoning and challenged architects to rely less on...
Rendering, view from a veranda under pitched roof looking outward towards a courtyard
New Redemption Hospital
Since 2010, MASS Design Group has worked with the Liberia Ministry of Health in Africa on numerous projects. The masterplan for the New Redemption Hospital in Caldwell aims to avert future epidemics and deliver comprehensive services to a growing population. The New Redemption Hospital faces the prevailing wind to facilitate natural cross-ventilation. Solar chimneys enhance...